Rhys Clarke

Naked Politics Blogger

Journalism is a risky business. The responsibility of speaking truth to power has always been a precarious venture and most probably always will be. More often than not, that risk isn’t distilled towards a rather abrasive and baffling interview with the President of the United States, although I believe that Trump “thug life compilations” featuring the man, the myth and the legend giving some poor sod from CNN a good dressing down, aren’t exactly conducive to a stable relationship with the media.

cnn trump interview
Credit: @yahoo

I wish that was the full extent of the risk that a journalist may undertake in the duration of their career but unfortunately, as demonstrated by the deaths of Victoria Marinova, Daphne Caruana, Jan Kuciak and his fiancé, Martina Kusnirova, all of whom have died under mysterious and brutal circumstances whilst pursuing their own investigations, it seems that there is a rather insidious contemporary trend in the European Union for journalists to die whilst on the trail of corruption. Evidently, it seems somewhat apparent to me that, in the Promised Land of the British leftist student, all is not well.

Daphne Caruana Galizia
Credit: @washingtonpost

The account of Marinova’s murder is particularly harrowing to read. Particularly, when held in contrast with the admiration shown towards the television journalist at her funeral. The rest of us can only hope that, should we have our lives so brutally cut short that we might find ourselves being remembered as “extremely disciplined, ambitious” and possessing an “extreme sense of justice” as she was described by an anonymous former colleague. The thirty year old Bulgarian woman was found in a riverside park in Ruse after being raped and beaten before being suffocated to death. This was due to her prying into the potential mishandling of EU funds-on her last aired TV show as an anchor, she introduced two journalists who were themselves investigating alleged corruption regarding this very matter- many have posited that Marinova’s death was a premeditated attack. The quote from the Bivol.bg owner, Assen Yordanov, that her show tackled “our very sensitive investigation into the misuse of EU funds” reverberate throughout the minds of anyone predisposed to suspicion where the EU is involved.

Viktoria Marinova
Credit: @LATimes

This, culminated with the fact that Bulgaria was ranked as 111 out of 180 countries in the Reporters without Borders world press freedom index- the lowest in the EU- this year does suggest that it would be a mistake to simply rule this tragic crime as merely a random act of violence.  And since an unnamed Bulgarian man was arrested and charged with Marinova’s rape and murder, nothing has been ruled out by the Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov.  Now, let’s be clear here. I am no master detective, nor am I am a journalist of Victoria Marinova’s calibre. I am not saying with absolute certainty that shady EU officials had Marinova silenced. Indeed, although it makes me nauseous to consider it, I do have to question what sort of hired killer would leave behind DNA evidence of his crime.

Bulgarian protests
Credit: @PressT

Yet, Marinova’s death as I mentioned earlier is but one of multiple unsolved deaths of EU journalists. Furthermore, the adversarial comments made by Bulgaria’s deputy prime minister regarding the mainstream media’s supposed smear campaign against him, which sparked the protests of hundreds of Bulgarian journalists in central Sofia, hints at a government more concerned with protecting its own reputation than with guaranteeing the protection of those people who adopt the thankless task of rifling through the dirty laundry of a corrupt ruling class.

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Last Update: November 19, 2018